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Gifted ๐ŸŽ

by Tiffany Gordon 2 months ago in Childhood ยท updated about a month ago

~A Rather Unique Collection of Memories~

Gifted ๐ŸŽ
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Howdy! ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿพ I'm gonna try not to bore you all to smithereens with this story but my "special" assignment officially began in junior high school at the tender age of 12. It ultimately culminated into the discovery of a precious gift that I still cherish to this day.๐Ÿ’

Once I reached adulthood, I began to realize that the Creator had placed my "special gift'' into my little, chocolate-brown infant-fist way back before I could talk. ๐Ÿ’

In fact, I believe that I actually acquired my gift on that glorious Sunday in 74' when the stork delivered me to my loved ones.๐Ÿ‘ฃ

THE BEGINNING

My gift first appeared during my 7th grade year and never left but I wouldn't change a thing if I could.๐Ÿฃ

It was the first semester of my 7th grade year, the entire school had recently taken a "special" anonymous survey, and a gaggle of 7th graders including myself were seated in the cafetorium anxiously awaiting the survey results.๐Ÿ˜ฅ

I remember wondering to myself what in the world all of those personal questions on the survey had been about. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait very long to find out. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ

A short time later, a group of roughly 25 students were called to the front of the room, my name being one of them. I remember a staff member confidently bellowing: "Tiffany Gordon!"๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพ

Once I heard my name called, my heart decided to make a colossal bungee jump from my chest into the choppy waters of my unsettled stomach. ๐ŸŒŠ

What the H-E-double-hockey-sticks was going on?

I made my way up front to accept my fate. Roughly 24 other names had been called as well.๐ŸŽ† A staff member picked up a microphone and informed each of us that was standing up front that we had each been chosen to be a Natural Helper for the entire school. ๐Ÿ†

What exactly is a Natural Helper?

The Short Answer: a student, PEER COUNSELOR.

Apparently, all 25 of us had been identified (through a school-wide survey) by our peers and members of the faculty as helpful & trustworthy persons that students "would feel comfortable turning to" if they needed help with their personal problems. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ

That day, I learned that Natural Helpers essentially operated as a safety net/support system for vulnerable students in need; they were the school's proverbial 'shoulders to cry on'. ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿพ

The general notion behind the program's inception being that kids would rather speak to other kids about their problems rather than their parents; therefore peer-centered counseling in junior & senior high schools was needed to help problem solve and to promote good mental health in teens. ๐Ÿ‘ซ

Fortunately, our school's NH program had safety precautions in place. If a Natural Helper ever felt that a problem was too intense for them to handle they were advised to contact a designated faculty member to take over.๐Ÿ‘ท๐Ÿฟ

I never came across a self-harm case as a junior high student but I am positive that those cases would have immediately been passed on to an adult NH who could get the student the proper resources necessary for healing. ๐Ÿค๐Ÿพ

At my junior high school, a Natural Helpers training retreat was held the following Semester to offer additional communication & listening training to newbie Natural Helpers.๐Ÿ—ฃ

Looking back, I remember the retreat being really fun because it was held at a campsite in the wilderness and we got to role play & practice the new skills that we learned at the retreat which included: learning how to properly express concern for those in need, how to set boundaries/limits in helping, how to recognize when a problem was over our heads, and how to effectively get an adult involved when necessary.๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿพ

The retreat was a definite success in my eyes because all I had to do was engage and be my authentic self the whole time.๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿฝ

When I was 12, I wasn't the biggest talker around folks that I didn't know well, but I was: an excellent listener, friendly, & approachable.๐Ÿค—

I also loved to problem solve so I felt confident in my new NH abilities; therefore my new role as a NH was right up my alley.๐ŸŽฏ

The Beauty of this entire childhood remembrance story is that my special childhood gift followed me into adulthood. Although, these daysโ€ฆ my schoolmates have been replaced by Beautiful Strangers.๐Ÿ’–

CHILDHOOD GIFT IN MOTION

More than a few times over the years, Beautiful Strangers have come up to me on the street while I'm out and about and poured their hearts out to me. I've noticed that a lot of people just want to be seen and or heard. ๐Ÿ’—

I reckon it's easier for folks to share their pain with a stranger than a friend or family member because most of the time they won't receive the same level of judgement for their choices from a stranger as they would typically receive from someone close. ๐Ÿ‘€

EXTRAORDINARY ENCOUNTERS

**Over the years, on two separate occasions, two persons approached me out-of-the-blue and disclosed to me that they had been intimately-assaulted in their early years. Both mentioned that they had never told anyone but me.

**Someone from high school that I didn't know very well contacted me on FB after 30 years to become friends and immediately opened up to me about their difficulties because I seemed welcoming in high school and like someone you could tell your troubles to. This person also mentioned that they don't really open up to many people about their personal business and suggested that I become a Counselor (something that I truly enjoy).

I consider "Natural Helping" my divine gift because it comes as easy as breathing and I feel honored and amazed that the Creator has chosen me to be a secret keeper and safety net for others. ๐ŸŽ

Conversely, I have learned the hard way that I am only one person. Therefore, if I ever begin to feel burdened or underqualified when utilizing my gift I promptly direct the person in need to a mental health professional. ๐ŸŒž

Interestingly, after I implement my gift, I always feel full & content like a starving person who is finally eating their favorite meal. But instead of my body becoming full from food; my body becomes full from purpose.๐ŸŒฎ

THE END

Childhood

Tiffany Gordon

I am a super-spiritual, fun-loving artist, writer, & peer-counselor residing in the Pacific Northwest. I am also an Institute of Children's Literature alumna who enjoys writing about the triumph of the human spirit.

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